Bay Area Blue-Eyed Soul: Shawn Brown’s Chasing Streetlights

Shawn Brown
Chasing Streetlights
Bootney-Lee

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Like Van Morrison in a hoodie listening to The Posies on his iPod, Shawn Brown has always been equal parts pop and blue-eyed soul. The Bay Area-based singer/songwriter’s Chasing Streetlights finds Brown checking in after a few years of silence with some of his most riveting work yet.  With its shimmering production and lyrical dreams of being taken from the darkness into the light, “9th Street Hymn” seems directed straight at the mainstream and is perhaps the catchiest number of Brown’s career.  “Movie Of Your Life” is rife with biting introspection and dark pop crunch while “Cry (Hopeful Tears)” is buoyed by a smooth Motown groove.  Brown’s live shows veer by night’s end towards a gospel crescendo and Chasing Streetlights does the same. The sparse and imploring closer “Cross The Line” is nothing short of stirring–Brown’s voice is filled with ache and longing and he walks the line between beauty and devastation with grace.